Phosphorus wrote:JoseSalazar wrote:Phosphorus wrote:While nothing is set in stone, some of the reasons RJ's and small turboprops were not a good replacement for 717's (all this is pre-COVID analysis, mind you) is that 717's were also hauling stuff between islands, and RJ's and ATR/Dash-8 are not great in that department. Another point were surfboards -- HA accepted those for interisland flying. Again, neither RJ's nor turboprops work well here. So, small mainline planes were an appropriate answer.
Now, with JT8D flying almost gone, BR700 is pretty much all that is left in the Western aviation (Ukraine would gladly offer D-436 to power anything, including An-148, but HA would not necessarily bite) that can cope with HA's operation mode of quick turns after short flights. And 717 is the only commercial jet using BR700.
Basically, if they choose anything smaller than 717, they'll have to increase the number of flights, if only to haul stuff separately from pax. If they choose anything bigger than 717, they'll need to accept long turns, to allow engine cooling. A vicious version of "Goldilocks" fairy-tale, except the porridge that's "not too hot and not too cold" is about to be taken away, with no replacement in sight.
Not that all the following make sense, but from an engine standpoint I would think they could use 737NG, airbus CEOs, or E175/190/195s E1 and quick turn with those just as effectively as 717. I was thinking an order of E175 E1s for bulk frequency interisland stuff, then mix in A321NEOs on a few higher demand routes/times, though I have no idea how that would affect their west coast a321NEO scheduling if they used some for interisland duty. Or maybe grab some of the many E190/195s hitting the used market for a song...low acquisition costs but higher maintenance costs. Or maybe some A319s since it’s an existing type for them...those could in theory also be rotated through to the west coast for some flights. I’m also curious about the 175-E2, seems like that engine may be able to handle quicker turns from some of the stuff I’ve read. But I wouldn’t want to be buy/use a new engine in a salty environment without a lot of existing data. Or maybe some of delta’s, but that seems to be a shorter term solution.
Maybe it was not worded clearly. HA's engine issue is not only that the ground turns are short. It's also that the hops are short. You are in a take-off mode, you are climbing, and then you are immediately descending, and then you are on the ground, preparing for the next takeoff. These engines don't have a luxury of a couple of hours in cold air at 38 000 feet at cruise speed. They are basically run like racecar engines, as HA interisland mode of operation is an almost continuous abuse. BR700 series takes this abuse relatively well, while 717 body carries Douglas DNA -- which means it can take a lot of cycles. Nobody builds planes like that anymore, and no-one else is keen to design another engine, tailored for these requirements.
It doesn't mean 717 is irreplaceable. It just means that any replacement, as of now, is inferior to status quo. In chess, you call this zugzwang -- any move you make leads to a deterioration, vs. your current situation.
CRJs do a ton of very short hops/quick turns and their motors seem to hold up ok. I would think E175s are also able to run those types of short flight cycles ok with a motor similar to a CRJ. B6 runs their E190s on a lot of short stuff, much of which is similar in length to some of the Hawaiian 717 stuff, and pre-covid had quite a high utilization. Would those engines/airframes work for that mission?